Holiday decorating 9-1-1

How to create a Chic, Easy, and Cheap holiday table setting in no time! So the big holiday countdown is on! It's nine days before Christmas.  No matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are you will be hosting or attending some type of seasonal gathering. For those of you brave enough to be hosting the gathering at your home, you are probably finalizing menus, drinks, desserts, seating, and activities to keep all the kiddos occupied. Well if we've learned anything from Martha Stewart, a huge part of a fantastic event is presentation!  Here…continue reading →

San Jose Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary 12/13/2009

The Week that was: The bond and mortgage markets were choppy, swinging on weak Treasury auctions (the 10 yr and 30 yr). Not much in the way of economic measurements but what there was were better than what had been expected. Retails in Nov were better than markets were looking for, the U. of Michigan consumer sentiment index indicated consumers are increasing their optimism about the economic outlook, and while somewhat ignored in the past couple of years as a positive, the Oct international trade deficit declined for the first time in years.…continue reading →

Seller Rent Back on a Bay Area Purchase

In home purchase transactions in San Jose and rest of the Bay Area, there are many times when the buyer and the seller are simply unable to agree upon a specified closing date. The Real Estate Agent involved can negotiate a 'rent back' period that is agreeable to both parties. This means the transaction technically closes, the loan for mortgage financing is funded, and ownership of the property is transferred into the buyer's name. However, the buyer does not take occupancy of the property until several days later. Instead, the buyer sets up…continue reading →

San Jose Weekly Mortgage Commentary 12/6/09

The week that was

  • Oct existing and new home sales were much better than economists thought, the manufacturing sector better than thought, and auto sales stronger.
  • The Nov employment report on Friday really shook things up; job losses only 11K with the unemployment rate lower, to 10.0% frm 10.2% in Oct and Sept.
  • Interest rates increased last week by 25 basis points for the 10 yr note and 30 yr mortgages. While there is a general view that the Nov employment report was skewed a little and the decline in job losses an anomaly, with long term interest rates at these historic low levels, no one is willing to stand on that thought and rates continued to increase.

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2010 FHA Loan Limits for San Jose & Bay Area

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced single-family loan limits for San Jose. These loan limits are effective for loans with credit approval issued on or after January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010. One-Unit $ 729,750 Two-Unit $ 934,200 Three-Unit $ 1,129,250 Four-Unit $ 1,403,400 These loan limits are also available for the counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco. Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (Also called Reverse Mortgage) The national FHA loan limit for HECM in 2010 remains at $625,500 (150 percent of the national conforming limit). Complete…continue reading →

San Jose Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary 11/29/2009

The week that was:

  • The minutes from the 11/4 FOMC meeting were released. Fed's minutes reiterated the Fed isn't anywhere close to increasing interest rates.
  • Fed governors and regional bank presidents predicted the jobless rate will range from 9.3% to 9.7% in next year fourth quarter.
  • Oct personal income increased 0.2% and spending was up 0.7%.
  • The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was 67.7 from 70.6 on the final read in Oct and slightly better than 66.0 two weeks ago.
  • Oct new home sales jumped 6.2%. There is a 6.7 month supply based on current sales, the lowest level since 12/06.
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association reported for the week ending November 20, 2009, mortgage loan application volume decreased 4.5% from one week earlier. The Refinance Index decreased 9.5% from the previous week The Purchase Index increased 9.6% from one week earlier.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.82% from 4.83%, with points increasing to 1.19 from 1.18 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

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Affordability Index Dropping in Santa Clara – Why is that a bad news for First-Time Buyers

Affordability Index has been dropping in Santa Clara county. California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) measures First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) on a quarterly basis. This measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase an entry-level home in California. The higher the index, more affordable it is for a first time buyer to buy a home. Before getting into the numbers, lets first quickly understand how it is calculated. The measurement is based on three main factors: Median Price of existing Single-Family homes (based on C.A.R.'s monthly existing home sales survey)…continue reading →

FHA waives 2nd appraisal requirement for Bay Area

Effective immediately, FHA has rescinded the second appraisal requirements for properties located in San Jose and rest of the Bay Area (Considered declining markets). For Bay area borrowers where loan amounts can generally exceed $417,000 2nd appraisal requirement was a problem on 2 counts:
  • Increased fees towards appraisal (2 appraisals hence double the fees)
  • Danger of loan getting declined or loan amount reduced if the value of the second appraisal came lower at the last moment
The 2nd problem was a bigger risk if the borrower had removed his/her appraisal or loan contingency. It could potentially result into loss of earnest money deposit. The new rule would make it easier for borrowers to bring in the minimum down payment of 3.5% even if the loan amount is >$417,000 and not worry about 2nd appraisal. Here are the highlights of the new rule:
  • For properties located in declining markets, FHA no longer requires second appraisal for loan amounts greater than $417,000 and LTVs greater than 95%.
  • Cash-out refinance transactions no longer require second appraisals for loan amounts greater than $417,000 and properties located in declining markets.
  • Effective for all FHA loans registered on or after Monday, November 30, 2009, some lenders may still require an appraisal from a lender-approved appraisal management company when any loan amount exceeds $417,000 and the property is located in a declining market. However, a second appraisal will no longer be required.
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First Look by Fannie Mae – Great News for First Time Home Buyers in Bay Area

Fannie Mae announced a program called "First Look" which will help First Time Home Buyers compete with investors for foreclosed homes in San Jose and rest of the Bay Area. Under the program, dubbed First Look, Fannie plans to consider offers only from potential owner-occupants and certain public-housing entities during the first 15 days in which a foreclosed home is on the market. Many investors can move faster on home purchases because they are able to pay cash and don't have to wait to qualify for a loan and get an appraisal. If…continue reading →

Existing Home Sales Jumps 10.1%

Home sales jumped in October, rising far more than expected as First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit offset fears about joblessness. Sales of existing homes increased by 10.1% to a 6.10 million annual rate from 5.54 million in September, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Monday. Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.7 percent to 3.57 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.0-month supply in September. The supply of homes on the market is now at…continue reading →